Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala PLLC (PCVA) has added nine associates, Yemi Ajayi, Aida Almasalkhi, Patrick Brown, Sydney Codd, Alexander Dietz, William McClure, Michael McNeil, Lesley O’Neill, and Ben Watson, continuing to expand its Tacoma and Seattle offices.

“The key to providing the best advocacy for our clients is having a strong bench of passionate lawyers who are willing to step up and hold organizations accountable when their actions harm others,” said PCVA Managing Partner Tom Vertetis. “We are excited to welcome our new associates to the team. Each of them has shown a true commitment to helping clients pursue justice and they will be all be great assets to our team.”

Yemi Ajayi – Yemi is a dedicated advocate who takes great pride in upholding the rights of individuals harmed by the intentional or negligent acts of others. His work in the areas of personal injury, product liability, pharmaceutical mass tort, and employment class action has resulted in the recovery of millions of dollars for his clients. Yemi completed his undergraduate studies at the University of California, Riverside and received his J.D. from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. 

Aida Almasalkhi – Aida devotes her practice to seeking justice for victims of sexual abuse. She recently relocated to Seattle from Kentucky, where she was recognized as a Kentucky Super Lawyer Rising Star, 2019-2021. Aida received her B.A. from the University of Kentucky and her J.D. from the University of Louisville Louis D. Branders School of Law, where she earned a Certificate of Distinction in Litigation Skills. She also served as a member of the University of Louisville Law Review. 

Patrick Brown – Patrick is passionate about fighting for justice for those who have been harmed by the actions of others. His practice focuses on sexual abuse, government liability, wrongful death, catastrophic personal injury, elder abuse, and auto accidents. Patrick graduated summa cum laude from Central Washington University and cum laude from Seattle University School of Law. 

Sydney Codd – As a third generation lawyer, Sydney had dedicated her entire legal career to advocating for people who have been injured by the wrongful acts of others. Her practice involves representing survivors of childhood sex abuse. Prior to joining the firm, she represented plaintiffs injured by motor vehicle collisions, workplace accidents, and nursing home neglect. Sydney received her B.A. from the University of Washington and graduated cum laude from Willamette University College of Law, where she was a member of the Willamette Law Review. During law school, she worked at the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office in Portland, Oregon, where she tried over 20 cases to verdict and argued various motions.

Alexander Dietz – Alex began fighting for the rights of clients in law school, where he represented indigent individuals through the Duke Law Health Justice Clinic and the Duke Law Civil Justice Clinic. His clients faced challenges related to stable healthcare, social security disability, and housing. These experiences inspired Alex to devote his career to helping others. Prior to joining the firm, Alex clerked for the Honorable Stephen J. Dwyer at the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division I. Alex graduated from the University of Washington and Duke University School of Law where he served as executive editor of the Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy and as a content editor for the Duke Law Technology Review.

William McClure – After completing his bachelor’s degree, Bill spent a year working with the Federal Way Public Schools AmeriCorps. It was during this time that he fell in love with the Tacoma area. Following law school, Bill knew he would return. Prior to joining PCVA, Bill served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Lisa Worswick, Washington State Court of Appeals, Division II. He earned his B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Evansville and his J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law. While in law school, Bill was an editor for the Iowa Law Review and co-president of the student bar association.

Michael McNeilFollowing 9/11, Mike joined the military and spent nearly nine years on active duty as a combat engineer, twice deployed to the Middle East. After his discharge, Mike attended law school at the University of Washington. Today Mike represents reservists, veterans, and their families on issues ranging from medical malpractice to employment rights, and product liability to catastrophic injuries. He is a veteran, helping veterans. Mike earned his B.A., summa cum laude, with high distinction from Washington State University and his J.D. from University of Washington, where he was a member of The Order of the Barristers. While in law school, Mike was recognized as Washington State University National Collegiate Sales Competition Quarter Finalist, University of Washington 1L Mock Trial Competition Champion, and University of Washington Steve Calandrillo Contract Negotiation Competition Champion.

Lesley O’NeillLesley focuses her practice on representing survivors of childhood sex abuse. She earned her law degree, cum laude, from the University of Georgia. During law school she dedicated herself to public interest organizations, receiving an Equal Justice Foundation fellowship at the Federal Defender Program in Atlanta where she represented indigent clients on death row in Georgia, and went on to chair the fellowship program. She continued her habeas work through the Capital Assistance Project, and was a member of the Appellate Litigation Clinic and the Georgia Law Review.  After graduating law school she joined a firm in Atlanta where she focused on commercial litigation. She was awarded the “Pro Bono All Star” award two years in a row for her dedication to litigating housing cases on behalf of clients who could not otherwise afford representation.

Benjamin WatsonBen has a passion for helping people, especially those who have been injured or wronged. When choosing a law firm, he knew PCVA was the right choice because of its reputation for brilliant advocacy. He enjoys being able to work on incredibly challenging, unique, important, and rewarding cases. Ben earned his B.A., from Washington State University and his J.D. from University of Washington School of Law in Seattle. While in law school he was recognized with the CALI Award: International Law and Trial Advocacy II; Peterson Wampold Rosato Feldman Luna 2L/3L Mock Trial Competition Best Speaker; Floyd, Pflueger & Ringer 1L Mock Trial Competition Best Speaker; Moot Court Honor Board and the American Association for Justice Mock Trial Team. He also served as a Judicial Extern for the Honorable Matthew Williams of the King County Superior Court.